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2012-12-10 at 15:32

Bill in crosshairs

By Jamie Smith,
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THUNDER BAY -- The prime minister has declared war on First Nations people, says the organizer of a local rally.

As part of the national Idle No More campaign, about 50 people gathered outside of the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development office on Fort William First Nation Monday morning to protest Bill C-45.

The omnibus bill, which passed third reading last week, has angered many First Nations and environmental groups who argue that the legislation will loosen regulations and erode Aboriginal rights.

First Nations leaders protested on Parliament Hill over the bill last week saying it was done without any consultation from their people.

“It gives testament to the disrespect that he has towards the nation-to- nation agreement,” local organizer Erin Bottle said. “It is an act of treason.”

Armed with drums, a wampum representing the 1764 Fort Niagara treaty and an upside-down Canadian flag, protesters entered the lobby of the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development office shouting “Idle No More” and singing.

Bottle said it’s time that people wake up, and that native and non-native people have a sacred duty to respect the nation-to-nation relationship.

“We agreed to live, to coexist together and to bury our hatchets of war. With what Stephen Harper is doing with the legislative assaults on our people it is an act of war,” Bottle said.

Bottle said all First Nations need to stand together now in unity and take drastic measures if needed.

“We can be a beautiful rose but we can also be a thorn in your side if we have to,” she said. “This is just the first wave. This is the beginning.”

Thousands of people across the country took part in similar rallies. More than 300 people gathered outside of the Manitoba legislature in Winnipeg. A rally outside of MP Greg Rickford’s office in Kenora drew more than 100.

The Idle No More campaign was started by four women in Saskatchewan to raise awareness about the bill. 

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arjay says:
the picture appears to be UPside down?
12/10/2012 4:07:14 PM
SandHawk says:
Having the Canada Flag upside down is like slapping every Canadian in the face who love this Country! Shame on the two people holding the Canada Flag upside down in this picture!
12/10/2012 4:39:22 PM
Sui Generis says:
Why? I hope your patriotism isn't tied to a piece of material.

I don't care what other people do with the flag. They can have it in a heap in their basement, torn to shreds or set on fire. It doesn't affect my patriotism in the least, or diminish my pride in being lucky enough to be born to this country and culture.

So they carried an upside down flag. Their choice, their message. Doesn't affect me in the least.
12/10/2012 5:11:42 PM
Delbert Grady says:
You may not think it affects you personally, but it does. It affects all Canadians by dissension among those who live in this fine country.

Are they entitled to their opinions? You bet. So are you too.

But by displaying the Canadian flag upside down you are showing disrespect for the country and everyone who tries hard or even died to make it a great place.

Personally Im insulted by that picture, but thats my problem because I know they dont care about my feelings... which is why I dont care about theirs.

but to drag the whole nation down with them? Thats not cool.

What type of response do you think would happen if we chose to display any of their cultural, symbolic, or representative icons in such a fashion?

Im willing to bet we wouldnt hear the end of it.
12/10/2012 8:20:16 PM
unionbay880 says:
I couldn't agree more. I am proud to be a part of this great nation whatever small or insignificant part I play. What are you in distress about? If I was in distress I would just have to work harder. When a little kid is given everything without having to work for it they will respect nothing.
12/11/2012 5:31:59 AM
conker2012 says:
Flying the flag upside down is not a sign of disrespect, it is a sign of distress. You should all get your heads out of your "butts" and actually research something before you comment.

I doubt that these people know it but what the upside down flag suggests that they are in distress and are in need of immediate rescue from a dire situation...

It is not disrespectful but it rather makes the protesters look like fools.
12/11/2012 8:48:53 AM
Delbert Grady says:
by making a statement that somehow the country is in distress when it clearly is not is certainly disrespectful of this nation and the good hard working people that formed it both in the past and in the present.

People who have real(not manufactured) pride would never cry for help until every last option available was exhausted and thats truly not the case here.

I will certainly agree with you though, it makes the protesters look like fools.
12/11/2012 10:39:07 AM
The Boss says:
You need help. Give your head a shake.
12/12/2012 10:41:40 AM
Tom Sanderson says:
I second that.
12/11/2012 9:25:45 AM
tiredofit says:
SandHawk, it's part of the protest, many people do it, not just First Nations, to show their discontent with the way certain things are done. Given the way the FN have been treated by over the years, I'm surprised it's not flown upside down on a permanent basis.

Given what Harpers doing to this country as a whole, we should all be flying it upside down.
12/10/2012 7:40:30 PM
DazeofThunder says:
Lol...I love this country and I just think it's funny. Quit hating on everybody and everything already.
12/10/2012 6:13:19 PM
wha? says:
What is bill C-45 anyway?
I'm sure I'm not the only one with that question.
12/10/2012 10:25:04 PM
young&concerned says:
I'm so happy to see these people protesting today on this just shows how passionate these people are to take the time from their busy schedules, to take a vacation day from work in showing their displeasure! Thank you to you all!
12/10/2012 11:03:16 PM
Tbay99 says:
Advocating violence, truly pathetic.
12/11/2012 12:32:37 AM
zaphirine says:
the upside down flag wasnt a show of disrespect to all , it was a clear message to harper gov. it ws like in the vietnam war where they used an upside down flag to show distress, u gotta know sandhawk , that the harper gov is stepping on everyone,s constitution by this action ,. hes enacting laws which see fit to him , w/o the publics decison , its like his decision or nuthing at all, these decisions will effect everyone ,we elected officials to speak for the people , everything's usually put on the table and a decision is made that way ,
12/11/2012 9:34:19 AM
jasper says:
all non first nations people also need to stand up and say enough is enough. keep up the good work mr harper.
12/11/2012 3:07:38 PM
Tiredofit says:
Your joking right?
12/11/2012 5:11:26 PM
young&concerned says:
Tiredofit! This is no joke! This is going to happen in this country one day when the government says that's enough and no more! I just hope I live long enough to see it!

The number of people in this country who think this way would make your head spin! Some just don't want to come out and say it but rest assure they think it. Or they choose not based on their own personal gains and personal vendettas.
12/11/2012 5:48:47 PM
young&concerned says:
YES! Jasper for Prime Minister!
12/11/2012 5:33:10 PM
unionbay880 says:
Soon the time will come where this is the only option. Throwing money into a bottomless pit with no expectation of any return is insane. Soon everyone will have to stand on their own two feet and make their own way, make their own money. No more handouts, when this country goes bankrupt all previous contracts will be null and void.
12/12/2012 8:15:53 AM
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